Alcohol gel ingestion amongst homeless Eastern and Central Europeans in London: assessing the effects on cognitive functioning and psychological health

Article


Soar, K., Papaioannou, G. and Dawkins, L. 2016. Alcohol gel ingestion amongst homeless Eastern and Central Europeans in London: assessing the effects on cognitive functioning and psychological health. Substance Use & Misuse. 51 (10), pp. 1274-1282.
AuthorsSoar, K., Papaioannou, G. and Dawkins, L.
Abstract

Background: Intentional consumption of alcohol based hand gels has been reported
especially amongst non-UK national, alcohol dependent, homeless individuals in
London. Whilst alcohol misuse is known to be associated with impaired cognitive
functioning and mental health problems, the effects of additional ingestion of alcohol gel
are unknown. Objectives: To explore cognitive and psychological functioning in users
who intentionally ingest alcohol gel compared with ethyl-alcohol only misusers and
controls. Methods: Male, Central and Eastern European alcohol only misusers, (n=14;
mean age 39 years), alcohol gel users (n=14; mean age 43 years) and controls (n=12;
mean age 31 years) were recruited from a London Homeless Service during 2013/14.
Alcohol misusers, alcohol gel users and controls were compared on the Forwards and
Backwards Digit Span Test; Block Design test; Retrospective and Prospective Memory
Questionnaire (PRMQ) and the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS).
Results: Alcohol gel users performed significantly worse on the Block Design task
(p<0.01) and PRMQ (p<0.01) relative to both alcohol only and control groups, and
significantly worse on the digit span relative to controls (p=0.01). Both alcohol misusing
groups scored comparatively on digit span backwards (p<0.01), with both groups
performing significantly worse than controls. The alcohol gel group reported
significantly higher levels of anxiety relative to controls (p=0.02). Conclusions: Whilst
there could be constitutional differences between alcohol misusers who additionally
abuse alcohol gel, the findings suggest that alcohol gel ingestion may have a greater
impact on psychological functioning than traditional alcohol misuse.

JournalSubstance Use & Misuse
Journal citation51 (10), pp. 1274-1282
ISSN1082-6084
Year2016
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3109/10826084.2016.1168441
Publication dates
Print25 May 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Mar 2016
AcceptedJan 2016
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Substance Use and Misuse on 25.05.16, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.3109/10826084.2016.1168441
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